I prefer reading books of a series in order, even if they are independent of each other and can be read as such. The development of character from the first book to the second to the third shows more prominently that way. However, sometimes I just have to bite the bullet and read the second one first and move on. I think perhaps this review might have come much sooner hadn’t I tried to finish reading Manreet’s first novel The Taj Conspiracy first.
Very few books written by Indian authors in the thriller genre actually have “thrilled” me and kept me engaged from start to finish at one sitting. The Karachi Deception is a recent novel that comes to mind when I think of those that have succeeded. The Taj Conspiracy, till wherever I have read, is one I expect to be in the list of thrillers that have succeeded. This one, The Hunt for Kohinoor, is one that is in that category, maybe marginally.
Manreet starts off in a style I personally enjoy… the recurring nightmare scene and yes, that absolutely sets the tone for the book ahead. The nightmare, and then the assassination of the Pakistani general sends the main character Mehrunisa on a hunt for the Kohinoor, a clue left behind by the General, and one that is key in getting peace between the feuding nations.
If you can categorize thrillers as ones that keep you hooked completely, and ones that thrill for a while and then a little time of straightforward writing to set up the next thrilling phase, I guess The Hunt for Kohinoor will be part of the latter. But to bring out thrill in a set timeline needs talent to execute easily and I was reminded of Scarecrow by Matthew Reilly which also had a set timeline to save the world before it was plunged into another Cold War. There are thrills and spills aplenty, and Mehrunisa’s character feels made for the quest and her role in it. The book is as simple in narration as it is detailed in describing the setting and the action. Something that I enjoyed.
Perhaps it is the effect of having so many settings that makes the book feel crowded with characters that suddenly pop up in the plot. In the nightmare scene, I was initially left confused as to what happened to Mehrunisa’s father, a confusion that was not cleared much by events that happened afterward in the novel. Some patches of dullness are present, but those could have been avoided. And there’s an sense of serendipity when it comes to the protagonist, which I feel is both good and bad. Good because the character continues to add to the thrill, bad since it feels odd that nothing can deter her.
All in all, I’d say this is a good book. Well worth reading.
In A Gist:
Positives: Engaging narration with descriptive detailing of setting and action.
Negatives: Some dull parts that could have been avoided, sudden characters, too much luck for the protagonist
About the author:
Manreet Sodhi Someshwar trained as an engineer, and graduated from IIM Calcutta before deciding to write fiction. She is the author of four novels, this book being the second of the thriller series trilogy featuring Mehrunisa Khosa.
Title: The Hunt for Kohinoor
Series: Mehrunisa Khosa #2
Author: Manreet Sodhi Someshwar
Genre: Thriller Fiction
Publisher: Westland India
Price: INR. 295
(4th March, 2014)